The status quo of the Michigan State Family Court is rife with abuse and inequitable treatment of families that is completely dependent on the county and judge a family is assigned.
Shocking statistics of this abuse include:
Custody determinations vary from 14-70% county to county. It's all the luck of the
draw as to what county and judge a family is assigned to. There is no judicial standard.
80% of all custody arrangements are given exclusively to mothers.
Almost all non-custodial parents are assigned the "every other weekend and four hours a week" cookie cutter parenting time arrangement regardless of circumstances or their ability to parent.
Cookie cutter parenting time arrangements creates child estrangement in as little as one year.
Attorneys and parents are incentivized by money to fight, create conflict and put children in the middle. The more nights a child spends with one parent the more money the other parent has to pay. It's a broken system with no ethical standard.
The Michigan Shared Custody Act, introduced by Michigan State Representative Jim Runestad (White Lake, MI) proposes changes to the Michigan Family Court System that eliminates inequity and unfair treatment of children and parents alike.
Highlights of this necessary legislation include:
The court will presume that both parents have the right to joint legal and physical custody.
Parents will spend approximately the same amount of time with their children.
Removal of shared custody will require "clear and convincing evidence", and not just suspicion and courtroom mud-slinging.
Children age 16 and older will have greater say in who they would prefer to spend time with.
BOTH parents and their separate contributions will be considered equally.
The only losers in this legislation are the judges, state employees, and attorneys: Judges will lose their power to rule with total unchecked power, state employees will lose their jobs because they no longer have to maintain a broken system, and attorneys will lose tens of millions of dollars in fees as there will be an equitable, fair standard for all.
The current family court system was developed over 50 years ago, and is completely out of date and out of step with our modern society. All across America, states like Florida, Texas, Missouri, Maryland, Massachusetts and over 20 more states are changing their laws in recognition of how parents live their lives and parent their children.
Click below to download a parenting toolkit with important facts and figures that can be used to educate others and/or contact your state representative to show your support for this legislation.
Michigan Shared Custody Act